Public Banking for New Mexico

Santa Fe Public Bank Task Force Proceedings

For reference purposes, AFLEP has archived complete audio recordings and related documents from the nine Task Force meetings held from September 6, 2017 through February 7, 2018.

#9 Task Force Meeting

A complete record of the February 7th, 2018 meeting is available here:

After roll call and deferral of approval of the minutes (which included review of earlier minutes to assure all were correctly recorded and approved, ) the Chair, David Buchholtz turned the floor over to Robert Mang. He reviewed with the Task Force their subcommittee’s preliminary outline and content recommendations for a final report. There was considerable reorganization of the portions of the report detailing the background of the public banking movement in Santa Fe and the Task Force’s research and findings.

The Task Force then discussed the structure and content of its final report recommendations. There was general agreement that, while it does not appear possible for the City to capitalize a city-owned chartered public bank, the Task Force will strongly recommend that the Santa Fe City Council support consideration of a public bank at the state-level. In addition, the Task Force will recommend active leadership by the City Council, in collaboration with civic leaders of foundations and other local financial institutions, to investigate a financial ecosystem to address Santa Fe’s compelling needs, including affordable workforce housing. The Task Force agreed that the subcommittee would complete a first draft of the report to be reviewed by the full Task Force at a meeting on March 7th, with the intention of reporting to the City Council at its March 28, 2018 meeting.

#8 Task Force Meeting

A complete record of the January 17, 2018 meeting is available here:

The meeting was called to order with a quorum present, the agenda approved, minutes of the December 20 meeting approved and minutes of the Public Forum deferred. Brad Fluetsch and Judy Cormier, who had been asked by the Chair at the last meeting to prepare and present a report to the Task Force on possible purposes for a public bank in Santa Fe presented their findings, which they advised were essentially a review of the Feasibility Study produced in 2015. Their report focused on what adjustments to City Finance policy had been made since the Feasibility Study was presented to the City Council in 2016. This report essentially reiterated information presented by Brad at the December 20th Task Force meeting, expanding it slightly to reference other funding resources available for small business borrowing, such as Accion, WESST and the SBA.

The Chair then discussed his agenda for their January 22 presentation to the City Finance Committee and a plan for preparing the first draft of the Task Force’s final report through a subcommittee. Comprised of himself, Bob Mang, Elaine Sullivan and Brad Fluetsch, the subcommittee will bring their draft to the full Task Force for review in preparation for a final report to City Council. The Task Force set its next meeting for Wednesday, February 7, and receiving no public comment, adjourned.

#7 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the December 20, 2017 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

After roll call and deferral of approval of the minutes (to include greater public comment detail from the 11/20/17 meeting) Brad Fluetsch, representing the City Finance Director, summarized his view of the 2016 Feasibility Study, explaining the State requires the City to maintain one month of budgeted revenue in liquid assets and the City can only invest in bonds with a five year or shorter maturity. Most City cash is invested for 12 or fewer months and since the Feasibility Study’s timeframe, the City has expanded its inter-fund loaning and is upgrading its digital capabilities. Robert Mang then reported on Impact Network Santa Fe’s report, Pollinating Prosperity (IN Santa Fe), which shows that the City of Santa Fe has an unmet, immediate need for significant cash in four projected areas: approximately $256 million for infrastructure improvements; the need for affordable housing and related infrastructure; the City’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040; and the need to address the trade imbalance which characterizes the City’s economy.

The Task Force then discussed whether and in what ways the needs described by the IN Santa Fe report could be met by a public Bank. While some members did not readily see how a public bank could respond to these issues, Robert Mang explained in considerable detail how a public bank could both support the smaller business loans that retail banks are reluctant to undertake, and cooperate with community banks to support larger projects. At the conclusion of the meeting the group settled on Wednesday, January 17th at 5:00 PM for its next meeting. The chair then opened the meeting to comments from the public, which included one statement in opposition and three supporting the establishment of a public bank.

Impact Network Santa Fe – Pollinating Prosperity Report
A new approach to economic development in Santa Fe.

#6 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the November 29 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

After roll call and approval of the minutes, New Business included the discussion of forming a subcommittee to gather information from “outside experts.” There was consensus that these should include local banking professionals and national public banking experts and that low-to-no cost participation should be an objective. A debriefing of the November 20 Public Forum noted that Task Force work to date was presented, including subcommittee progress reports, but the goal of receiving public input on the desired purpose for a public bank was not achieved. Members learned that the City Finance Committee didn’t include the planned Task Force report in its December 4 agenda. The Chair indicated wanting to clarify deliverables with the Finance Committee and advised that Task Force financial resources are exhausted. The remainder of Part 1 and most of Part 2 began discussions of what a public bank could provide Santa Fe, not currently being accomplished by existing banks or the City’s Finance Department.

Members suggested they needed a definition of purpose for the proposed public bank in order to hone a capitalization model. Some talked about obstacles inhibiting a public bank, but not much discussion yet on overcoming them or identifying benefits from a public bank that would make overcoming obstacles worth the cost or effort. It was asked if the city has specific funding and economic development needs that could be met by a public bank in ways that the current budget and programming don’t address.

It was suggested members revisit the city’s 2015 Feasibility Study, the June 5, 2017 City Finance Report and prepare to discuss the October 2017 Impact Network Santa Fe Report, Pollinating Prosperity – to identify possible needs that have not already been successfully met by City Finance. The Task Force discussed what and how to report to the council’s finance committee and deferred reporting until January 2018. There were two public comments. One stressed the importance of improved behavioral health services and a second said other public bank task forces around the country were focused on rising above obstacles to creating public banks, while the Santa Fe Task Force has identified obstacles, but not how to overcome them as of yet.

November 20 Public Bank Task Force Public Forum

On November 20, 2017, the Public Banking Task Force held a Forum, open to the public, at City Hall from 5:30 to 8:00pm. The purpose of the forum was two-fold; to bring to the general public a high level review of the work undertaken, issues being considered and obstacles identified by the Task Force half way through its six month deliberations – and to solicit the public’s views of how a Public Bank might best serve the people of Santa Fe.

The slides in this PDF presentation were prepared by each of the Task Force’s four sub-committees, Legal, Regulatory, Governance and Capitalization. Each subcommittee report identifies the community experts they interviewed and summarizes the central issues identified and explored.

#5 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the November 8 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

The call to order, then corrections and approval of the minutes open Part 1. Noting that the Task Force is halfway through its six-month assignment, facilitator Michele Lis suggested each member reflect on their impressions of the role a public bank might realistically play in the community and, based on their research, discuss how they see the Task Force’s work going forward. The conversation ranged over a variety of topics including the citing of significant obstacles to creating a public bank and consideration of how, and why, those obstacles might be overcome.

Chair David Buchholtz reviewed the allotted Task Force budget with members and the group explored how and when additional outside experts could be incorporated into their deliberations. The facilitator then explained the recommended structure for the upcoming November 20 Public Forum, which will include subcommittee reports to the public and a question and answer period. The bulk of the forum will be reserved for public input on what a public bank could achieve for the community. The Task Force then heard comments from the attending public, both supporting and opposing the concept of a public bank.

#4 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the October 18 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

The City Attorney’s office submitted a report from outside counsel, Attorneys Mark Chaiken and Richard Virtue, hired by the city to research regulatory issues related to public banking. Among those addressed were home rule power, the anti-donation clause, state law related to investment and deposit of public dollars, and benefits for the Task Force to further clarify expectations about the functions of a public bank.

Subcommittee reports were reviewed, plus helpful public input was offered about one of the presented bank governance models and the value added of a public bank to complement both current and future City Finance Department work.

Governance Subcommittee Report – October 18, 2017

Capitalization Subcommittee Report – October 18, 2017

#3 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the September 27 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

Task Force Chair David Buchholtz reported that the Santa Fe City Attorney has retained outside counsel to prepare a legal opinion for the city on a public bank. The Task Force then discussed the offer by Mr. David L. Dubrow with the Arent Fox Law Firm from NYC, to answer questions or provide expertise to the Task Force during its deliberation. A motion from Bob Mang was passed to graciously acknowledge Mr. Dubrow’s offer and to reconsider it in the future if needed. Discussion of the issues of timing, character and venue for the Task Force’s first public input meeting began, but was deferred until individual Task Force subcommittee reports were presented. Reports were made by several Task Force subcommittees including the Regulatory Committee, the Governance Committee and the Capitalization Committee.

The discussion of a public input meeting was resumed and resulted in a preliminary plan for such a meeting to take place sometime prior to the Task Force’s first report to the city council’s Finance Committee, possibly in mid-November, and the maximum possible promotion for such a meeting was urged. Under new business, it was recommended that the Task Force create a technical committee to specify the exact assets needed to launch a bank. In the public comment period, two attendees urged the task force to persist with the resolution’s focus on a chartered public bank.

Governance Subcommittee Report – September 27, 2017

Subcommittee Report – September 27, 2017

#2 Task Force Meeting

A complete recording of the September 6 meeting (in 2 sections), is available here:

The first section of this recording includes a presentation by Katie Updike reviewing the Public Bank Feasibility Study, which was commissioned by city council in January of 2016 and presented to the city council in January of 2017. It concludes with the beginning of City Finance Director Adam Johnson’s presentation of a report requested by the city council on city financial operations as part of the Task Force Resolution.

The second section of this recording includes the balance of Adam Johnson’s report on city finances and concludes with questions by members of the public attending the Task Force meeting.

The Finance Department’s report on Treasury Management and Investment Practices prepared at the instruction of city council for the Task Force

Read or Download the City of Santa Fe’s Public Bank Feasibility Study


Subcommittee Report – September 6, 2017

#1 Task Force Meeting

The August 15th meeting (not recorded) was organizational in nature, reviewing the tasks to be accomplished, setting up a preliminary schedule of meetings and plans for reporting to city council.

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